Fintechs: Friends or Foes?

January 10, 2018

  • BLOG

Joe Proto – CEO, Transactis

Originally published in Transaction Directory
Full 2015 Predictions article in Transaction Directory can be read here.

2015 will be the year that market forces align to push biller direct EBPP into an unquestioned position as THE choice for consumer bill payment. For a number of years, biller direct has been growing faster than bank bill pay, however third party aggregators were all the rage in 2013. Like many, I thought that they were really on to something, but by mid-2014 … no more. Manilla, Zumbox, Volly, Doxo had a short but valuable impact. They demonstrated that convenience and control are critical to the consumer payment experience and adoption. They also exemplified how hard it is to get consumers to a bill payment site in numbers significant enough for billers to share their content. Biller direct EBPP does not have that problem; virtually all billers have their bills available in an electronic format, and the # 1 reason why customers go to a company’s web site is to pay a bill. So what happens in 2015 … the trifecta for biller direct growth and customer satisfaction!

First – Demand … In 2015, healthcare and insurance will see the biggest market growth. There are a few reasons why this industry will lead the pack. First, the Affordable Care Act has increased the number of customers in this industry. Insurance companies have seen their customer count increase as more people have access to affordable policies and are required to have coverage. Growth in the number of insured people has also led to an increase in the number of patients healthcare providers are now treating. Both providers and insurance companies have more customers, and therefore have more bills and payments to manage. Their customers want to easily manage their bills and make payments easily. Both of these factors will increase business demand for the efficiency of biller direct solutions.

Second – Experience. Another factor in the growth of biller direct solutions will be the improvements in user interface and experience. It has become increasingly important for customers to stay technologically up to date. They are more comfortable with modern interfaces and have more trust for these newer UIs. Additionally, customers want to use a system that is intuitive and easy to navigate so they can quickly manage bills and make payments. If the user interface is outdated and the experience proves to be difficult, customers will not use the system. Knowing this, billers will demand improved UIs and Uxs, and technology providers will make these enhancements. Upgrades to Biller direct solutions will make it better and easier for customers to manage their bills, which will ultimately lead to the demand for businesses to offer these improved solutions.

I predict that in the coming year, more fintech companies will want to work with banks, and banks are already noticing the advantages of working with fintechs. “Fifth Third embraces fintechs as partners who can help make us better and enable us to bring differentiated solutions to market for our customers,” said Jeff Siekman, senior vice president and director of payment products for Fifth Third Bank.

Third – Mobility. The final factor in biller direct growth in 2015 will be the growing demand for mobile payment channels. It is not surprise that customers love their smartphones. They can do almost anything on them, which has led to an increase in expectations to make payments via apps and mobile responsive websites. The natural progression of the biller direct model is leading to technology providers offering a mobile element to their solutions so billers can offer customers another payment option that fits their lifestyles. As more biller direct solutions offer mobile payment methods, more customers will use these systems, contributing to the growth of biller direct. This conversation is incomplete without the discussion of ApplePay. What does ApplePay have to do with biller direct bill payment? In 2015, the advertising and promotional investment that Apple and its partners will make in ApplePay is enormous and will be valuable for EBPP in terms of driving consumer awareness and adoption of all mobile payments (POS and bill pay). The difference between POS bill payments and EBPP is the dimension of time - view receipt and pay now, or wait for the bill and pay later! More on this when we make predictions for 2016.

2015 is shaping up to be an exciting year for EBPP and the Biller Direct model. We at Transactis are thrilled to be leading the industry as we continuously develop and upgrade our solutions to meet the ever changing and diversifying needs of business in all industries and the customers they serve.

Rick Fiorito, Chief Revenue Officer, Transactis

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